Senator Roy Blunt visited the national distribution center for Vital Farms in Springfield today and talked about jobs and workforce development.
Blunt took a quick tour of the facility and also talked with staff and many local elected officials about the importance of training people for these jobs and having the state do what it can to lure in talent when unemployment is low.
“It’s a pretty good economy for people to be looking for work in,” Blunt said. “For the last 13 months, for the only time in the history of the country, there have been more jobs available than people looking for work. That happened for the first time 13 months ago and it’s happened every single month since then….13 months of that says a lot about the economy.”
Blunt said that he wanted to find ways to make Missouri more attractive to people with skills.
“[Missouri] should be a place that people want to move to and use the skills they have,” Blunt said. Blunt then challenged the state representatives who were attending the event to make Missouri the easiest state for someone who has a professional degree to move into the state and quickly obtain the licensure needed to use their degree and training.
“There is a national competition for skilled workers,” Blunt said. “And one of the things that people look at is how quickly they can go to work at a new job. Why wouldn’t we want to be part of that race?”
Blunt also noted that many employers are hiring people who aren’t quite ready for a job and bringing them along in the job to gain that knowledge to ensure they can get the best possible employees who will learn how to do a job in the manner that best fits the employer.
Blunt said that it’s important that schools work with employers to help provide high school students who are thinking about careers after high school with the information needed to know what they would have to do to learn a trade or skill.
Local officials attending the event agreed with Blunt’s desires for enhancing training and workforce development.
“I think what you saw this legislative session was a cooperative effort to work in the workforce development space,” State Senator Lincoln Hough told OI. “The Governor’s fast track proposal that we passed during the final week of the session seeks to do just what business and companies like Vital Farms need: which is training people into jobs that they have available.”
“I appreciate the Senator being out here today and talking about the issues connected to workforce development,” Greene County Commissioner John Russell told OI. “As I’m talking with manufacturers and other business owners here in the community, it’s an issue that they raise every time.”